Coppin's late surge cuts down Morgan, 82-68 Eagles stay tied for first in MEAC behind strong second half by Singletary

February 09, 1997|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,SUN STAFF

The last time Chris Fuller brought his Morgan State basketball team to the Coppin Center, he came within a last-second layup by Reggie Welch of upsetting the Eagles and ending their home-court winning streak.

Welch sat on Coppin's bench last night, his broken left hand in a cast. Terquin Mott joined him after picking up his fourth foul with almost eight minutes still remaining.

Another game hung in the balance. Another disappointment for Fuller was near.

Junior guard Danny Singletary, who lost his starting job last month, scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half, helping the Eagles pull away to their eighth straight victory, 82-68, before 2,671.

Junior guard Antoine Brockington led all scorers with 25 points, as Coppin (12-7, 9-2) stay tied for first place in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

Mott finished with 15 points and eight rebounds.

Morgan (6-13, 5-6), winner of just one game on the road this season, was led by freshman forward O'Tes Alston, who had a career-high 17 points, and senior forward Chris Watson, who added 15.

The score was tied at 41 before Eagles forward Fred Warrick hit a three-pointer. But the lead didn't last long. Morgan ran off six straight points, even though Alston, who was celebrating his 19th birthday and had his mother visiting from Buffalo, was on the bench with four fouls. He returned in time to get his fifth with 11: 35 still remaining and the Bears ahead, 48-46.

Mott's fourth foul came with Coppin leading, 56-52, and in the midst of a 10-0 run that would inflate the margin to 11 points.

Morgan cut the lead to 72-65 with 1: 31 left, but Warrick (12 points) made two free throws, Mott grabbed a rebound and fired an outlet pass to Brockington for a one-hand slam, and Mott and Warrick soared in for dunks in the final seconds.

Singletary had given Coppin the lead for good, 50-49, with 10: 33 left, and made a three-pointer less than a minute later. He also scored five points in a span of 19 seconds for a 68-53 lead.

"We didn't expect him to hurt us as a scorer," Fuller said. "We knew he could penetrate, but he hit some threes that we didn't expect. The kid elevated his game. I give him credit. They needed him tonight because I felt we were holding our own otherwise."

Everywhere, perhaps, except on the line, where Morgan was 9-for-19, compared to Coppin's 31-for-41 effort. The Eagles also shot 56 percent from the field in the second half, and 52 percent for the game.

"The kids knew they had to step it up," said Coppin State coach Fang Mitchell. "We've had the problem all year, though, where we're not coming out with that killer instinct. And teams are just coming at us; that hasn't changed all year long. We've been very, very fortunate to survive all the games we've survived."

Pub Date: 2/09/97

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